Augmented Reality in Mobile Applications and its Potential for User Engagement by Vika Nightingale

In my first conference talk, which happened in January 2016 at the Connected Communities Heritage Network. 

The research I presented was on the approaches to the user experience design using the study of the current Augmented Reality landscape as the focal point. This presentation was also about user-centred thinking, its challenges and further Research & Development opportunities within not only Augmented Reality but also the area of user experience itself. 

Connected Communities is a "cross-Research Council programme led by AHRC, designed to help us understand the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts and the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life."

Video recording of the Connected Communities Heritage Network Symposium 2016.

Getty Images Library Goes VR on Oculus Rift by Vika Nightingale

Samsung Power Sleep by Vika Nightingale

An app which taps into processing power of your phone to contribute to research...

Our mobile phones generally lie dormant while we’re asleep, which means that millions of powerful processors are going unused for hours at a time. Samsung Austria and the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Life Sciences have teamed up to try and tap the potential of all that unused processing power. Power Sleep is a new Android app that allows mobile phone users to donate the processing power of their devices to scientific research while they are asleep.

The Power Sleep app provides users with a simple alarm clock function. When the alarm is set and the user’s phone is plugged in, fully charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network, the app begins to process data sent from the Similarity Matrix of Proteins (SIMAP) database. The research is focused on deciphering protein sequences in order to help with medical advancements in disciplines such as genetics and heredity, biochemistry, molecular biology and cancer research.

”In order to fight diseases like cancer and Alzheimers, we need to know how proteins are arranged,” says Thomas Rattei, professor of bioinformatics at the University of Vienna. “This requires trials that need a tremendous amount of processing power. Power Sleep is a bridge between science and society. It promotes not only our research, but allows people in Austria to become part of the project and, at the same time, to do good in their sleep.”

Power Sleep is connected to the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), a network that links around 60,000 PCs worldwide and harnesses their processing power for computational-based research. The app extends the reach of BOINC to include mobile devices, which Martin Wallner, senior director of IT & Mobile at Samsung Electronics Austria, points out are not necessarily much less powerful than computers nowadays.

Safety for Augmented Reality by Vika Nightingale

Expert Workshop on Creative Visiting by Vika Nightingale


It was been a pleasure to take part in a workshop on museum and gallery visiting empowered by technology and the concept of gift-giving. 

The workshop was led by Lesley Fosh 

a PhD candidate in the Mixed Reality Lab and Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham, whose research looks at the design of mobile visiting experiences for museums and art galleries ( both personalised and supportive of group visiting), combining human-computer interaction with museum studies.

Teamed with several arts and business professionals (the Creative Quarter, University of Nottingham, New Art Exchange, Nottingham Castle), various problem-solving, concept and business development activities constituted the day.